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DAPA Immigration Lawyer

Please note: There is a consultation fee to meet with one of our immigration lawyers. Contact us for information on pricing and to discuss your situation.


In 2014, President Barack Obama issued an executive order that established the DAPA program, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. The purpose of the program was to allow immigration officials to defer the removal and deportation of undocumented immigrants who met specific criteria, including having children who are either U.S. citizens or lawful residents.

The program would have allowed participants to lawfully remain in the U.S. and to lawfully work in the country, although it would not have granted lawful status or a pathway to lawful permanent residence and/or citizenship. However, the DAPA program was effectively terminated by the Trump administration in 2017, after lawsuits from states resulted in the imposition of an injunction on the program by the federal courts.

Although relief under the program may not be currently available, a DAPA immigration attorney from Brooks Law can help you evaluate your rights and other options for allowing you to remain in the U.S. or to obtain lawful status. We have extensive experience navigating the complex immigration process, and we want to help. Contact our law firm today to set up a consultation with one of our knowledgeable immigration lawyers.

What Is DAPA?

Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, was a program established by an executive order issued by President Barack Obama in 2014. The program would have allowed immigration officers to use prosecutorial discretion to provide relief from deportation and employment eligibility to the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

DAPA would not affect a person’s immigration status – they would continue to have unlawful status in the U.S. even though they could lawfully remain in the U.S. – nor could an individual use his or her DAPA status to obtain immigration benefits that required maintaining lawful status.

However, the DAPA program was effectively killed off when the federal courts implemented an injunction against the program in response to lawsuits filed by several states and when, in 2017, the Trump administration announced the rescission of the original DAPA executive order.

Who Was Eligible for DAPA?

Individuals could qualify for relief under the DAPA program if they met the following eligibility requirements:

  • They have a son or daughter who is or became a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident after November 20, 2014. (Parents of children with DACA status were ineligible for DAPA.)
  • They have resided in the U.S. since at least January 1, 2010.
  • They were present in the U.S. with no lawful status on November 20, 2014, and on the date of applying for DAPA relief.
  • They have not been classified by immigration officials as an enforcement priority, such as people who:
    • Have a felony conviction
    • Have a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence, gun possession, sexual abuse, DUI, or drug distribution
    • Have gang or terrorism connections
    • Have unlawfully entered the U.S. after January 1, 2014
    • Pose a threat to public safety or national security
  • They have passed a background check.
  • They have no other issues that would render deferred action inappropriate.

Benefits of Applying to DAPA

An undocumented immigrant who received DAPA status may have been entitled to certain benefits such as:

  • Relief from deportation proceedings and the ability to stay with one’s family in the U.S. for a three-year period
  • Receipt of work authorization for a three-year period; once work authorization was received, the person could then apply for a Social Security card
  • State benefits, depending on the particular state, including the ability to apply for and receive a driver’s license, professional or business licenses, or in-state tuition at public colleges and universities

DAPA Application Forms and Required Documents

There was no official form or instructions for applying for DAPA when the program was effectively ended by court action and order of the Trump administration.

However, applying for the program would have required you to submit various pieces of information as part of your application, including:

  • Proof of your identity
  • Proof of your relationship to a child who was a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • Your continuous residency in the U.S. since January 1, 2010
  • Your presence in the U.S. on November 20, 2014
  • Your criminal records (if any)

roving your eligibility for the DAPA program would likely have required you to submit documents such as lease agreements, utility or cellphone bills, bank statements, medical records, school records, copies of your birth certificate and proof of nationality along with your child’s birth certificate and proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency. Any gaps in proof of your continuous residency would have likely required you to submit affidavits from individuals who could attest to your presence in the U.S.

How a DAPA Attorney from Brooks Law Can Help You

If you or a loved one are in the United States without lawful presence and status, and you have a child who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, there may be options available to you to allow you to lawfully remain in the U.S. or even to seek lawful status in the U.S.

While you may not be able to seek relief from deportation and authorization to work in the U.S. under the DAPA program, an attorney from Brooks Law may be able to help you avoid deportation and resolve your immigration status by:

  • Discussing your personal circumstances, including how you entered the United States (such as whether you entered without inspection or without lawful status), how long you have been present in the country, whether you have any relatives who are citizens or lawful permanent residents, and your employment and financial circumstances
  • Reviewing other programs and immigration statuses you may be eligible for, such as waiver of inadmissibility, family visas, or asylum
  • Fighting to help you stay in the United States if you are placed into removal and deportation proceedings

Contact Brooks Law today to schedule a consultation to speak with an experienced immigration attorney. Our team will explain more about your legal rights and options for seeking lawful presence or lawful status in the U.S.

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